Hi, my name's Eleanor, I'm from Los Angeles, CA and I've been a caregiver approximately 15 years off and on and I'm right now presently doing that at this time.
How did you get into caregiving?
I became a caregiver because I was doing food. We were giving out food and I took on the project of giving food to the seniors and I went to seniors' homes to give them their food and I found so many seniors not being able to afford care because of their budget. I decided then that we were going to put together an agency, which I did and to go and help seniors on a sliding scale because money is really not the issue here, It's about compassion for others and people, sometimes they really need help but they just can't afford it. We went in and we started helping seniors and that's exactly our disabled people and that's how I got started. Once again, you have to have compassion for this particular type of work.
What advice would you provide to a new caregiver?
My advice to a new caregiver would be to also let the person have some independency if they choose to. We become what they can't be, whatever it may be. If their left side is weak, we become the left side. If their memories are not very well, we become the memory for them. If they need assistance with showering, we are there to help them. I would advice them to always listen to the client, maybe the client may not be right all the time but try to let them know that you're there only to assist and help them. That's what I would give my advice to them.
Who is one of your most memorable clients?
The client I would never forget would be Polly, she was a very gracious person but I have so many that I won't forget. She always wanted to do certain things such as go to the store, "Let's go shopping today.", "Can we go to the mall?" Then there were some days where she would just want to stay home and watch me clean or do something of that nature. She always had a willing heart, so many of them do and she always liked to give advice which is good because they have a lot of advice to give and as she went on with life, it was a blessing.